Saturday, May 31, 2008


A new layout to share with you...

These pictures were taken on Meagan's birthday. I'm not sure she really even knew what she was pouting about!

Friday, May 30, 2008


Still no ants. Poor guy. But Isaac's ants are hard working little critters. Their whole tunnel system is quite impressive. I admit, I kinda like the ants. (Did I just say that?)

The Favorites List

For a few months now, I've known that Sebastian has had an interest in a little girl at school. She was in his kindergarten class, and is now in his 1st grade class (and, incidentally, will also be in his 2nd grade class as of now). She's also been on his t-ball team 2 years in a row. So he spends a lot of time around her. She is an adorable little girl, and a very sweet, well-behaved little girl. Not a bad girl to be interested in, I suppose.

Up until recently, they've each admired the other, but the other was unaware. However, lately, they've discovered that the feelings are mutual, which opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Now, Sebastian says she is his girlfriend. And I guess that sometimes during story time in class, they will sit by each other and 'hold hands.' The little girl's mom helps in the classroom, and has seen this in action a few times. LOL. She and I talk pretty regularly at every t-ball practice, so she keeps me informed (since Sebastian is his father's son, and isn't about to open up and talk about something voluntarily).

Well, yesterday, her mom told me that she had a talk with Abbie and told her that she needs to take relationships slowly...that there's no rush, and it's important to get to know someone before you really decide how you feel about them, etc. The next day, Abbie came home with a list she had made...a list of 'what's your favorite___' questions that she had thought of. She asked Sebastian these questions - in interview form, I can only imagine - and recorded his answers. She took it home and proudly showed her mom, "Look, Mom, I'm getting to know him!"

Apparently, Sebastian has also documented Abbie's favorites. Sheesh!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Lesson in Patience

One child is happy. The other has used up all of his patience (in his words).

For Christmas, Sebastian got two ant farms. Because he did not need two, he chose one to keep, and gave the other to Isaac so that they could both have pet ants (lovely). When the weather started to show signs of warming, we filled out the ant order forms for each of them (on the same day), and mailed them off to order the long-anticipated ants. Each form stated that we should expect to wait 2-6 weeks for our ants to arrive.

Well, yesterday at lunch, Lucas went out to get the mail. In it, there was a yellow-orange package with Isaac's name on it. Lucas helped him open it up, where, lo and behold, they found a tube of ants. Isaac was elated! His face was beaming, and he was so excited he could hardly contain himself (if you've ever seen Isaac get truly excited, you will understand exactly what I mean). I thought he was going to burst a seam all the way down in his toes he was so happy.

That was at lunch. Sebastian was at school. He didn't know.

When Sebastian got home from school, Isaac could hardly wait to share his excitement with his big brother. He rushed Sebastian downstairs into the basement to show him and to check on the ants' progress at building tunnels (which they had made a surprising amount of already). Sebastian was happy for his brother, and thought the ants were pretty cool to watch. But they weren't his ants. Where were his ants? How much longer? Will they be here tomorrow? The next day?

So, Sebastian did what he does when he needs a bit of therapeutic time. He got out a composition notebook and a pen, and he began to write a story. He wrote a non-fiction story, with dates and facts as accurate as possible, about the day his brother got ants in the mail and he didn't. The story goes as follows (copied exactly from Sebastian's notebook):

"Hello my name is Sebastian." Me and my brother Isaac ordered ants a long time ago. On May 27 2008 Isaac got his ants. That was on Tusday. I lost all my patienc I think. Isaacs ants are busy little succers. Thanks for listening to my non-fiction book of ants.

(followed by an illustrated diagram of the two ant farms - 'My ant farm' with an arrow to an empty box with gel in it; 'Isaac's ant farm' with an arrow to a box with gel and dots (being the ants) and a tunnel started in the corner)

He was quite a sport about it. He was as content as he could be to check in regularly on his brother's ants to see what kind of progress was being made, etc. But he said to me, "Mom, I think I used up all my patience. I think today I ran out, and I used up the last bit of it I had. I've been waiting and waiting, and I don't think I can wait any more."

Poor guy. I can attest, lessons in patience are some of the hardest to learn.

Monday, May 26, 2008

New Sand, New Garden, and a Bike Ride

Just checking in to wish you all a Happy Memorial Day! We've been having quite a nice weekend. Yesterday was a beautiful day, which we were happy to spend mostly outside. After church, and after lunch, in lieu of nap time, we headed to Meijer for some new play sand, some garden veggies to plant, and a few other odds and ends.

With new sand in the sandbox, the kids were set for quite a while. I took the free time to spruce up my sad little garden. I planted 2 different kinds of tomatoes this year, plus a cherry tomato plant. I also planted 2 colors of peppers, and (lol) some cat grass for Lilly. Plus, on the day of Meg's party, she and Keylee planted a TON of sunflower seeds. So this year's garden should be interesting - or maybe crowded is a better word!

We also took our first bike ride of the year yesterday. We rode to a school nearby and played for a few minutes on the playground. The kids weren't really into the whole playground thing though, for some reason. Isaac actually left the playground to go get back on his bike to ride around the empty parking lot. So, we cut the playground visit short and took a longer bike ride instead. We explored the roads that go behind the school that seemed to lead to nowhere. I was so glad to have the exercise - it's been a long sedentary winter.

I did another layout last night. Meg decided to take Bunny Rabbit into the sandbox with her. They were building a princess castle, you see, and a girl needs help when building such an important structure as a princess castle. At one point, Bunny was pretty much buried, with only her little head and floppy ears hanging out. That is one loved bunny.

Journaling: poor bunny...soft, clean bunny. as I watched you play with bunny - in the sandbox! -I couldn't help but think of the velveteen rabbit. if bunny could talk - if she could tell of this day - how would she feel about being covered in sand? it made me wonder...does it really pay to be the favorite?

Well, enjoy your holiday! Pray for my mom, as she is leaving for Israel today. She will be there until June 7th (?), I think. Keep her in mind please. Happy Memorial Day everyone! Love ya!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Just for fun

I started this layout this afternoon - just for fun. I think I mentioned in my last post that I bought a big digital kit to finish the last layout that I did. I figured I'd use a few more of the goodies in that kit just to play around a bit. I had some pictures of Meagan exploring in the 'woods' at Isaac's t-ball game. I've always liked the layouts that combine a few pictures to show a progression, if you know what I mean. So I figured I'd try it out. I still may do another layout with these pictures and take a completely different approach, but this one was fun to do.

Gotta go...I've got a hockey game to watch! Pittsburgh is currently down 1-0 (at the second intermission). We increased our dish network package today just so we could get the Verses channel so we could watch games 1 & 2! LOL! The bonus for getting the bigger package...we now get National Geographic again, so I can once again watch the Dog Whisperer (LOL!).

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bedtime Observations

I had the funniest bedtime story time with Meagan the other night. For her bedtime story, she chose 'Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do You Hear?' A story I've ready countless times over the last six years. Never has any of us had quite the reaction to the story that Meagan had a few nights ago.

It starts out, Polar Bear, Polar Bear What do you hear?

Polar Bear responds, I hear a lion (or some other animal...not sure of the exact order) roaring in my ear. Then, the next page moves on to the lion - 'Lion, lion what do you hear?' and so on.

When we got to the Flamingo page, I read, 'Flamingo, flamingo, what do you hear,' to which Meagan promptly replies, "He don't hab (have) any ears!" The same declaration was made when we got to the Boa Constrictor page. Observant little stinker (no, I didn't explain the difference in 'ears' that certain types of animals have...that would just open the door wide up for a silly argument with a stubborn 3-year-old).

The clock will strike midnight

My latest layout...This one took me a few days to complete. Finally last night I found a HUGE kit online called Enchanted Forest that had a bunch of elements I used to finish it up.

I am not usually one to use song lyrics for quotes, but this time I've broken away from my 'norm.' Since the first time I heard the song Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman, it has been one of my favorites. Truthfully, it's not even the type of music I generally gravitate towards, but the lyrics are beautiful and mean so much to me at this point in my life, especially considering that Meagan and I sometimes struggle with butting heads. This song seems to play over and over in my mind, at times when I feel myself getting frustrated, or when I feel 'too busy' to play with the kids.

One morning while I was getting ready for work, I was listening to satellite radio on tv, and this song came on. I happened to be in the process of doing my hair at that moment, and as I looked in the mirror, I saw Meagan behind me in the reflection. I turned around to look at her. She was playing in my room - making a mess, as usual - in a basket of not-yet-folded laundry. She had a few stuffed animals with her, and she was making castle mountains for each of them out of wadded up clothes. Then she tucked them in gently, covering them up with a shirt or a towel.

It was a pretty typical game for her to be playing, but as I watched her, I realized how quickly she would soon outgrow all of this - the make-believe, the babies and animals, the need for being close to her Momma. I stopped everything I was doing, and I just stood and watched her for what must have been two or three minutes. I was so glad to have had that moment to just be still and realize how amazing she is, and how special this time of her life is.

Journaling: I will dance with Cinderella while she is here in my arms, 'cause I know something the prince never knew. I will dance with Cinderella. I don't want to miss even one song. All too soon the clock will strike midnight, and she'll be gone.

Please keep Steven Curtis Chapman and his family in your prayers, as they are attending the funeral of their youngest daughter today. She was five years old.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

I can't believe my baby girl is THREE! Where does the time go? She's getting so big so quickly! But thankfully she's still so little!

When I woke up this morning my first thoughts were of the day she was born. Three years ago at this exact time, I was feeling anxious, getting ready to leave for the hospital for our 8:00 check-in time. I was a bit nervous, and so excited to meet her. It was a bit bitter-sweet for me, because I knew it was the last time I would go through pregnancy and delivery (although I was a-okay with the delivery part!).

I remember laying on the table in the OR, waiting with anticipation for Lucas to come in and be with me, waiting for the doctors to start, wondering if everything was going to go as it should, praying that everything would go as it should, praying for peace in a high-anxiety situation. Then Lucas came in, sat beside me, held my strapped-down hand (LOL).

Not long after, we heard the sound of a first itty bitty baby cry, followed by several solid minutes of baby screaming. One of the doctors jokingly said, 'Oh, it sounds like you two are going to have your hands full with this little one." We had no idea how accurate that statement would be! Our baby girl came out making herself heard and letting her opinions be known, and it hasn't stopped since. She is such an amazing, strong person.

This past year has been probably the toughest year of parenthood for me. It seems like she and I have gone round after round, battling for 'I'm the boss' position. She is continually pushing and challenging to see what she can and cannot do. It seems, though, that in the past month or so, we've seen signs of progress. She is a little quicker to obey, a little less likely to defy her punishments...a little. But we all change a little at a time. We learn a little at a time. We move forward step by step. She is learning that every time she challenges, Lucas and I will stand our ground, time after time after time (which is quite exhausting sometimes, but necessary nonetheless). While our relationship is, for now, challenging at times, I am thankful that overall our relationship is more of a blessing than a battle.

Icky Sicky's

Well, it seems that every time Lucas goes somewhere, at least one of our children gets sick. This time is no exception. Lucas left Sunday evening, and Monday morning, around 4:00, Isaac started getting sick. We were up at 4:00, 5:30-ish, and again at 8:00-ish. Poor guy! All day he had no appetite, drank very little, and slept a lot. I obviously had to alter my work schedule, even though Monday's are always jam packed for me. Around 9:30, he was doing okay, so we packed up a blanket, pillow, and our Peter Pan movie and headed over to church long enough for me to do the bare necessities. Poor guy fell asleep in my office floor...he was really NOT feeling well.

By mid-afternoon, he seemed to be coming out of it. He even went outside and played for a while. He ate a minimal dinner - chicken noodle soup and some toast - which stayed down just fine. He did great for the rest of the evening. I figured he was back to normal.

However, this morning, we had a birthday breakfast for Meagan's birthday - she wanted breakfast pizza. Isaac didn't eat much of it, but he did eat a little. It seemed to be okay...for about an which point that all came back to visit us again. Yuck! Poor guy is having a rough time. Hopefully he's almost done with it. I feel so bad for him!

Birthday Party

Saturday we had Meagan's birthday party. It was a busy day, but we had a ton of fun. First a soccer game at 9:00, which they WON 5-1! Then a t-ball game at 9:30, which was pretty short-lived because they stopped the game so they could take team pictures (odd?). Then we headed home long enough to take a breath before we turned around and headed back to the ball fields for t-ball game #2 (which went a half-hour longer than it was supposed to because they decided to pitch NINE times to each player before bringing out the tee!). FINALLY, it was party time around 1:00. We were all hungry by then, so we went straight for the food! LOL!

Meagan had a great time at her Bug party...yes, BUGS. She picked it, not me! So we focused on the girlier bugs - lady bugs, bumble bees, butterflies, etc. Mostly bees and lady bugs I guess...and lots of PINK and green!

As for highlights of the party, there are several. For starters, we cracked up watching her attempt to blow out candles. I thought her head was going to pop, she huffed and puffed so hard...yet somehow managed to accomplish nothing! It was pretty cute! She, Sebastian and Isaac chowed on the lady bug cake...the rest of us ate the bee hive!

Gifts are always a highpoint for the birthday girl! She got some adorable clothes (which she actually likes - most kids toss clothes, but Meagan enjoys them). She got some princess-ish things, including a Cinderella polly pockets set (of which several shoes are already missing). She got a whole house full of furniture for her doll house (the boys spent a few hours yesterday helping her set up the house and playing with her - she was in heaven!). She got two sets of gardening tools, but they had different tools in each, so she used them both. She also got a bike and a new princess helmet. And a mustang convertible (what! LOL). Poor girl was overwhelmed with new things to try!

First things first - after driving the car through the living room a time or two, the car headed outside where it could be properly test driven. Since she had her car, the boys wanted their gray truck out, so our front yard quickly turned into a 4-lane highway! LOL!

After driving, Meagan and Keylee headed straight over to the garden to dig in the dirt and plant the seeds that came in one of Meagan's garden packs. It was quite the site seeing Meagan in her princess (halloween) dress, and her Notre Dame shoes, digging in dirt. She's such a mesh of girly and tom-boy, it's not even funny!

There was also a bubble wand bubble blowing event in the back yard. Both grandmas had brought big bubble wands - great minds think alike, I suppose!

After bubbles, I figured she would just about drop from being so worn out, but not Meagan! She hopped on her bike and headed out for a bike ride with Daddy. Actually, she was still going strong long after everyone left the party. It was probably 8:30 before we got them all herded in and settled down for bed. By 9:00, they were all crashed hard! It was a long day, but it was a good day!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Handsome Boys

Finally I had a chance to scrapbook again! It came at the cost of not cleaning my bathrooms, but it was a price I was willing to pay (fyi, I did clean one bathroom yesterday, only 2 more to go). Tomorrow is another day - a day without motor development or library or swimming or any other pre-arranged outing. I think we are all looking forward to that kind of day! And I have a bit of straightening up to do, as well as a menu & a grocery list to make, and birthday gifts to buy. That should pretty much take care of the day.

So about the seems that lately I've liked a cleaner, simpler style of layouts. I think Simple Scrapooks magazine is wearing off on me. These pictures were taken last July at the park. I know you've probably seen them before (at least some of them), but I'm just now getting around to doing anything with them for my album.

I love looking at all of the different shots next to each other. All their different expressions and body's so cool to see all of their different sides coming out in each of them, as well as the contrast between the two boys. At the time that I took these pictures, I was just trying to get one good picture to put in a frame. I sort of discounted all of the shots I didn't deem frame-worthy. Lesson learned - there is definitely a great deal of value in taking (and not deleting) a series of pictures like this. 99.9% of them will never see a frame, and won't hang on a wall, but I can look back at them years from now and remember how very serious Sebastian could be, and just how ornery Isaac's grin was at times; how Sebastian fake smiled when he posed for pictures, and how Isaac was only a hair shorter than his brother...and gaining quickly.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Isaac's 1st T-Ball Game...

Anyone want to clean my bathrooms for me?! (Just thought I'd ask). I'm taking a break...I mean, letting the cleaner soak....for a minute. Thought I'd take a minute to blog a bit.

I put together 2 more picture slide shows from this past Saturday - Isaac's first t-ball game. He did great, had a good time, and staid pretty focused through the whole game. He swings the ever-livin' out of the bat every time he's up to bat. Very funny.

While the game was going on, Meagan decided to 'explore' in the 'woods' (which consisted of trees about 15 feet deep separating the ball fields from an access drive). She was lost in her own world of adventure, though, and had quite a good time. When she wasn't in the trees, she was kicking the fuzzy fluff off of dandelions. LOL.

More games this weekend - soccer and t-ball - along with a birthday party for Miss Meagan...hard to believe three is just around the corner!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Flips and fun!

Wow, what an interesting couple of days we have had! Some good moments, some not-so-good! Friday, I had tons of things to get done for a banquet we had coming up on Saturday, and I was hoping / planning to be able to use nap time on Friday to get it done. Instead, we left the house at 9:30 in the morning, and didn't get back until 4:30 in the afternoon. It was a crazy day full of go go go, and I will admit, I didn't exactly behave my best (maybe a slight loss of temper on occasion...or maybe every 20 minutes or so???), but we made it through.

The highlight of the day Friday was definitely motor development in the morning. It was our last day of MD for the year, so we took a field trip to a gymnastics center nearby. It was a directed open-gym structure. First, they had an obstacle course set up on the floor, and they led the kids through all kind of fundamentals, including somersaults, cartwheels, and even back walk-overs. The kids had a blast! They also did the parachute game, which is always a hit!

Then they moved on to the bars, where they had another obstacle course of sorts. They were working on fundamentals without even knowing it was happening. They used a rocking mat to practice hollow bodies. They worked on pull-overs (with help, of course) and pulling themselves up and supporting themselves on the bar. It was a great time. And of course, what visit to the gymnastics center would be complete without jumping in the pit! Very fun!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Don't let the bed bugs bite

Tonight at dinner, Isaac said, "Mom, the nights when I don't sleep very good, those nights are when I have a nightmare."

"Oh yeah?" I asked. Then Lucas said, "What is a nightmare, Buddy?"

With a puzzled look of contemplation, Isaac said, "I think its little bugs that come in your bed at night."

"What do they look like? Have you ever seen one of these bugs?"

"No," he said, "because I think they sneak into our beds when we're asleep."

Here comes Sebastian's 2 cents: "Well, I would guess that a nightmare is a bad dream."

LOL!! How funny! So Lucas went on to explain that nightmares are dreams that make us feel scared, and the boys proceeded to tell us dreams that they'd had (which, we could clearly tell they were making them up on the spot. Isaac's dream was about meteors falling and he was trying not to let one fall on his head. LOL).

After dinner, we turned on Alvin & the Chipmunks for a little down time (they've been cranked and crazy is definitely an early bedtime night!), and it happened to be the part where Theodore has a nightmare and can't sleep, so he goes into Dave's room to sleep in his bed. Aaaah! So now I at least know what brought the subject up...but I just thought it was funny that Isaac thought nightmares are sneaky bed bugs.

Monday, May 5, 2008


WOOOO HOOOOO! My Penguins made it to the next round of the playoffs!! I am super excited...especially since we actually got to watch the game on TV this weekend. I really miss the days when hockey was actually televised on normal stations at normal times. Anyway... So they have Philly next round. All Pennsylvania series. Very fun! Go Pens!

Besides that, I'm feeling really guilty because tomorrow is Lucas' birthday, and instead of being able to take it easy and celebrate it, we are going to be running around like crazy people trying to manage our silly ol' sports schedule. This whole week, actually is just a week of go go go for me. Still tonight I have to get the kids bathed and in bed, go to the grocery, then come home and make decorations for a banquet we're having on Saturday. LOVE IT!

Tomorrow we have story hour, then our second week of swim classes (for which I will be prepared with my bathing suit!). Then we have to run some errands, get naps in somewhere in the afternoon, and then soccer and t-ball in the evening (plus probably more decoration-making). I am definitely praying for God's hand in my day, so that I can keep my patience and positive attitude and not get frustrated...I don't generally do spectacularly when I have a lot going on...I'm kind of a simple girl when it comes to scheduling.

So anyway, just wanted to get in a quick post before I called the herd in from outdoors. Meagan is playing garden at the moment, which consists of digging a giant pit in our actual garden, generally throwing the dirt over her shoulder into the grass...which means at some point I am going to have to buy another bag of top soil to replace the dirt she has tossed out. But she's having fun digging out the weeds, and finding earthworms. She's filthy dirty from head to toe, but I don't mind. I remember digging for worms in Dad & Nancy's garden when I was little...that was the best! I loved getting my hands dirty, so I can't be upset with her for doing the exact same thing.

Okay, time to round up the troops for baths. Later.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sports Update

I'm not cut out for this! I think I'm just too competitive to be a soccer coach! I thought this morning I was going to scream my voice right out of my head trying to get the kids to follow instructions, but it's like they have ear muffs on! AAAAAHHHH! Truthfully, they played much much better this weekend than they did last weekend. They are starting to understand (a little, at least) the concept of positioning on the field...which is hopeful. But how do you teach kids to be aggressive? I just don't know. It's like they're afraid to break up plays, or take the ball. They all just stand back and give the other team all the room they need to do whatever they want to do. ??? Hmmm...there's still plenty for us to work on, but they're doing well.

T-ball is going really well. I guess Isaac is doing great (although I still haven't been able to watch him play). Lucas says the 'cattle' are being trained well, and they're all starting to get the hang of it. Isaac is doing a great job hitting and playing certain positions. And he's been encouraging others on his team when they need a awesome is that! And this week, Sebastian had a moment part way through practice when it was as though, all of a sudden, his hand-eye coordination just clicked. He started catching balls, fielding grounders, and hitting pitches...just all of a sudden. He was so cute - the coach was pitching to him, and he had hit a few fouls, and a few that dropped between home and pitcher's mound. The coach said, 'Okay Sebastian, next hit, I want you to run the bases.' When the next pitch was thrown, Sebastian hit it, and it went flying in between 2nd & 3rd and into the outfield. His eyes lit up, he was so excited that he had hit it so far. He forgot to run! LOL! It was a great fun watching them develop a sense of their abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Very cool.

Tea Party

I'm a little slow at posting about this...since it happened around Easter time. You may remember that a while ago, Meagan and Lucas had a pretend tea party in her Tinkerbell tent. Well, when Grandma & Grandpa H. came up to visit for Easter, Grandma brought some real tea party goodies with her - iced tea and mini cookies (chocolate chip & sugar). Meagan was the tea party princess. She served tea to everyone with her own little tea pot, and she gave everyone cookies on her tea party plates. She was quite the little hostess, and she had the time of her life!

Journaling: You are cordially invited to my very girly princess tea party. Teeny tiny cookies and real tea will be served (in cups that have holes in the sides of them). I will serve everyone all by myself using my pretty princess tea set that Big Grandma & Grandpa Hoying gave me.